We are not blessed when we perform well as much as we are blessed when we enter into relationship with our creator.
Once we have experienced pain, finding healthy intimacy can become incredibly difficult. However, forming happy, trusting, and loving relationships is the single most important process we can experience as humans.
Scripture refers to happiness as being ‘blessed.’ When we find relationships with others, and with God, we are at our happiest and most blessed.
This means also learning to feel joy no matter what our circumstances are. It is a difficult process but it comes from being sure of who we are our relationship to God and our connection to others.
If we look at Matthew 5- The 9 Beatitudes, God tells us we are blessed even in the most painful of circumstances:
01. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
02. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
03. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
04. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
05. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
06. Blessed are pure in heart, for they shall see God.
07. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
08. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
09. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This message tells us that amongst persecution from others and the experience of immense suffering, our reward will be great. If we respond to the bad situations with love, joy, and peace (how God would), rather than running from the pain, great things will be waiting for us.
The list above symbolizes nine ways in which we can still be happy even through meekness, poor spirit, or even mourning.
Because we are still ‘good’ in our relationship with God, so when all of these ‘bad’ things happen, God has the power to make it a positive experience-
I inherit the earth, I see God, I am rewarded.
If I deal with it in God’s way.
This goes completely against how the world sees happiness to be. More often than not, we aim to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and focus on the immediate highs.
The idea of moving through pain with a positive mindset seems ludicrous to us! Why would we when there’s a bottle of alcohol or a fast car that could make us immediately more ‘happy’?
Let us look at the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit:
But the fruit of the spirit is (1) Love, expressing itself as:
These fruits refer to God’s intended successes for our lives, rather than the failures;
relationships that are healthy allow us to bear these fruits.
If we take everything we have discussed thus far and put them together, we can now begin to make correlations between the Beatitudes mentioned in Matthew 5, our response in God’s language (versus the human response), and the outcome of both mindsets.
- PURE IN HEART (Matthew 5) met with Love (God’s response) vs Selfishness (the human response) = See God or be Spiritually blind.
Let us look at the others:
- POOR IN SPIRIT- Joy vs Sadness = Receive the Kingdom or Isolation
- MOURN- Peace vs Anxiety = Comforted or Anxious
- PERSECUTED- Patience vs Anger = Receive the Kingdom or Isolation
- MERCIFUL- Kindness vs Rejection = Receive Mercy or Guilt/Shame
- RIGHTEOUSNESS- Good vs Bad = Filled with Righteousness or Sin
- PEACEMAKERS- Trust vs Unhealthy Control = Child of God or Captive to Flesh
- MEEK- Humility vs Inferiority- Superiority = Inheritance or Lost Inheritance
- INSULTED- Self-Control vs Over-Control = Rejoice for Reward or Choosing Punishment.
In all of these 9 experiences, the choice is ours.
Pain is God’s number one tool for getting us back on track.
When we are on track, we do not need to experience pain- unless as a tool for us to move to the next stage in our lives. When we give up trying to control the pain in our lives we can release control to God and respond to painful situations as He would.
When we choose humility over superiority or inferiority, we can receive our inheritance.
When we choose to be kind to those who insult us, we will be rewarded.
What we can see here is that choosing the loving response might be the hardest but it provides us with the greatest reward!
When our goal is purely to seek pleasure and avoid pain, prioritize the ‘urgent’ over the ‘important’, and avoid self-discovery and truth, we sit in sadness, anger, and rejection.
So, are you choosing punishment for yourself?
Are you right with God and Jesus?
I believe we all choose how we respond.
Have a blessed and wonderful day!